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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 23, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas  __Sunday,    February    23,    2003    —    HERALD-ZEITUNG    —    Page    7AF ORUM New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung New Braunfels Zeitung was founded 1852; New Braunfels Herald was founded 1890. The two papers merged in 1957 and printed in both German and English until 1958. Doug Toney, Editor and Publisher Gary E. Maitland, Managing Editor (830) 625-9144PolicyEditorial Parents must grasp importance of TAKS Who can blame a parent for not being able to keep up? Since 1980, they’ve had to try to understand four different testing philosophies. First, there was TABS (Texas Assessment of Basic Skills). Then came TEAMS (Texas Educational Assessment of Minimum Skills). Following that was TAAS (Texas Assessment of Academic Skills). And now we have TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills). It’s hard enough to make sense of this alphabet soup, much less try to digest what it all means for their children. But now more than ever, parents need to know about testing in Texas. Beginning Tuesday, students in schools across Texas will be taking the TAKS test. It is a broader, deeper and more challenging test than TAAS. It’s a high-stakes assessment because a student’s performance carries serious consequences if the results are below the passing rate. And that is where parents come in. Moms and dads, this is what you must know about TAKS: ■ Your children must pass the reading test at Grade 3. ■ Your children must pass the reading and mathematics tests at Grade 5. ■ Your children must pass the reading and mathematics tests at Grade 8. ■ Grade promotion is tied to passage of these subjects at these levels, and a student can be denied a high-school diploma if they cannot pass exit level exams. Please, don’t underestimate the significance of this new testing program. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call the principal of your child’s school, or even school district officials in the Comal ISD or New Braunfels ISD.Today In History  - By The Associated Press Today is Sunday, Feb. 23, the 54th day of 2003. There are 311 days left in the year. Today’s history highlight: On Feb. 23, 1945, during World War II, U.S. Marines on I wo Jima captured Mount Suribachi, where they raised the American flag. Letters To The Editor In 1836, the siege of the Alamo began in San Antonio. In 1847, U.S. troops under Gen. Zachary Taylor defeated Mexican General Santa Anna at the Battle of Buena Vista in Mexico. In 1954, the first mass inoculation of children against polio with the Salk vaccine began in Pittsburgh. Put your money where your mouth is I was shocked to read the guest column by Duane Neel (Feb. ll). What an attack! I don’t know Mr. Neel, but I’d like to. I do know Jo Beth [Jimerson] and know her to be passionate regarding her students, probably much like Mr. Neel’s employees’ feelings about him. I know that “laypeople” do not understand this test — an evaluation that tests one’s ability to bubble in the correct bubbles (ex: If answer is 25, then bubble in the bubble for zero, then the bubble for 2, next the bubble for five — not just the bubble by the choice 25); an evaluation that touts before the test that 40-something percent won’t pass the first time around; an evaluation that requires measuring length and puts the ruler in the middle of the page (no cutting or folding allowed). It is not a test of knowledgeWrite’Em President George W. Bush 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW Washington, D.C. 20500 U.S. Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Dallas Room 284 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 (202) 224-5922 Fax: (202) 224-0776 8023 Vantage Drive, Suite 460 San Antonio, TX 78230 (210) 340-2885 Fax: (210) 349-6753 U.S. Congressman and comprehension. Mr. Neel, you have the opportunity to help the students in your community. Being in a position of authority in your company, you could allow your employees to each volunteer an hour a week working with students in a local elementary school. There are several companies that do so, and their commitment to their community is invaluable and so greatly appreciated by those in the trenches, that is, the classroom teachers. What’s that old saying? “Put your money where your mouth is.” Pamela Cone Sawer Questions not asked about LCRA plans This is a voice of concern regarding the old LCRA Building located at the entrance to Landa Park. This property is to be turned into high-rise apartments with other housing surrounding the main building. What plans have the city developed to handle the increased traffic on Seguin, Landa, and Walnut streets? Traffic during Wurstfest and normal weekends during the summer make Landa a very busy, busy street. What precautions are the developers taking to protect the Comal River with all (yes all) of the endangered species that call it home? This type of housing would call for a large area of asphalt for parking. Where is the runoff going to go? Are they aware of an old Indian Burial Ground is located on this property? Have they had an archeological study done? Why did the District 3 councilmember not ask these questions? Why did the city not look at this property as a new city hall or fire station, or even a new civic center? Let’s face it. land in the center of town is nonexistent. Mr. and Mrs. Tommy Allen New Braunfels Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio Room 2231 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-4236 1100 NE Loop 410, Suite 640 San Antonio, TX 78209 (210) 821-5024 Governor Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S.1 P.O. Box 12428 Austin, TX 78711 (800) 843-5789 Fax: (512) 463-1849 Texas State Representative Cartel Casteel, R-New Braunfels How to contact in Austin: (512) 463-0325 Fax: (512) 473-9920 e-mail address: carter, cast eel @ house, state tx. us Texas State Senator Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio 1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 720 San Antonio, TX 78209 (210) 826-7800 Fax: (210) 826-0571 How to contact in Austin: (512) 463-0125 Fax: (512) 463-7794 E-mail address: [email protected] The Herald-Zeitung encourages the submission of letters. Letters must be 250 words or fewer, and the Herald-Zeitung reserves the right to edit all submissions. An address and telephone number, which are not for publication, must be included so authorship can be confirmed. Mail letters to: Letters to the Editor c/othe Herald-Zeitung PO. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, TX 78131-1328 Fax: (830) 606-3413 e-mail: [email protected] 'Em City Council Mayor Adam Cork 608-2100 city hall 609-1958 home mayor® District 1 Sonia Munoz-Gill 608-2100 District 2 Larry Alexander 609-1242 home District 3 Debbie Flume 629-2496 home/work District 4 Robert Kendrick 643-1177 home (281) 686-7480 work District 5 Lee Rodriguez 629-4901 work District 6 Ken Valentine 625-7384 home tuberkdv @ aol com Comal County Judge Danny Scheel 150 N. Seguin Ave. New Braunfels, TX 78130 620-5501 Fax: 608-2026 Precinct 1 Commissioner Jack Dawson 620-5504 (830) 899-2948 home Precinct 2 Commissioner Jay Minikin 620-5509 (210) 651-9672 home Precinct 3 Commissioner Cristina Zamora 620-5503 606-9208 home Precinct 4 Commissioner Jan Kennady 620-5508 (830) 625-6739 homeThere’s no shame in author’s compelling thoughts Each year, many editors and publishers across the country receive a flip-over calendar from The Freedom Forum. The Freedom Forum is based in Arlington, Va., and is devoted to examining and protecting “free press, free speech and the free spirit for all people.” The Freedom Forum bills itself as a nonpartisan foundation. Each day on the calendar includes the First Amendment, written in its entirety, and a quote-of-the-day from various speakers about freedom. In case you have not read the First Amendment recently, here it is: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’ Here is one of the calendar’s quote-of-the-day that seems worth contemplating: "We have to fight the terrorists DOUG TONEY as if there were no rules and preserve our open society as if there were no terrorists. ”— Thomas L. Friedman, columnist, The New York Times, 2001 Speaking of Friedman, if you want to be better informed about the Muslim world and the Middle East, get your hands on a copy of Friedman’s book, “Longitudes and Attitudes.” Friedman has won the Pulitzer Prize three times for his commentary in The New York Times. He has written two other books — • “From Beirut to Jerusalem” (1989), which won the National Book Award for nonfiction. This remains, in the view of many, a benchmark work on the Middle East. His other book is The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understand ing Globalization” (1999). Friedman has a gift. He seems to have the ability to remember all the players and understand many of the whys that evade most of us when it comes to the Middle East. Back to his latest book, “Longitudes and Attitudes.” The hook is a collection of his columns and excerpts from his diary since Sept. ll, 2001. Here’s an excerpt, from a column that originally published Sept. 28, 2001. ‘The big question is how we fight this war to deliver to Americans what they uont which is not revenge, but justice and security. It requires a new attitude toward the battle ami new strategy on the battlefield. “What attitude? We mvJ to be really focused, really serious, and just a little bit crazy. I don) mean we should indiscriminately kill people, especially innocent Afghans. I mean that the terrorists and their supporters need to know that from here forward we will do whatever it takes to defend our way of life — and then some. From here forward, its the bad guys who need to be afraid every waking moment. The more frightened our enemies are today, the fewer we will have to fight tomorrow. ” In the same Sept. 28, 2001, column: “For everything there is a season. There will be a season later on for talking. There will be a season for dealing with other states that have supported terrorism. And there will be a season for promoting Arab-Israeli peace or economic development. But right now — right now is the season of hunting down people who want to destroy our country. ” And from his diary: "... But in more places on more days in more years, America has done more to make this world a better, more lii'ableplace for more people than any other country in history. Some people dont like that. They detest the freedom, the pluralism, the religious toleration, the secularism, the gender equality, the democracy, the faith, the free markets, and the multi-ethnicity with which we have built our society, and which we urge others to emulate. "... There really are people who hate Christians, hate Jews, hate secularism, hate the equality of women. At some point you have to either kill those people or be killed by them. This is not a misunderstanding that can be cleared up by a few courses in multiculturalism.” His commentary is based on years spent in the Middle East and a remarkable ability to distill complex issues into a delightfully simple-to-digest form. If you can get your hands on this book, buy it. Read it. And in closing, I will use a Freedom Foundation calendar quote from a college classmate of mine, Gene Policinski of the First Amendment Center: ‘‘Oppressed people around the world continue to die in the pursuit of freedom and free expression ... while many in America would surrender First Amendment rights in pursuit of comfort and order. The Founders would be ashamed. ” (Doug Tbney is editor and publisher of the Herald-Zeitung.) L Hflld rtydoc rieedtedndg) ■for a oowtJOY museum arrfteath -fix a study of ecoTic dancers ara -Wiousandsfora ? ;